“Leaving for money” is, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review on career moves, called “Managing Yourself: Five Ways to Bungle a Job Change“, one of the major mistakes people make when deciding between jobs.
Though not too extraordinary a finding in itself (surely you have heard people say, “it’s not all about the money” when explaining their choice of a job), there is an interesting fact about money mentioned in the article. It seems that executives thinking about a job change often rank money fourth of fifth in order of importance, but when it comes to making the decision, money becomes the most important! (How’s that for the case that we are rational creatures?)
Too strong a focus on money makes us neglect doing proper research (incidentally another major mistake pointed out by the article’s authors), and the increase in pay may not quite offset the opportunity costs associated with the move. The authors quote an example of an executive who switched jobs for an extra $10k, but realised that giving up the network he built in his previous job wasn’t quite worth it.
On a personal level, I’ve heard of plenty of people earning more than me who have had to endure (much) longer working hours (sometimes for purely political reasons), horrible working conditions (including abusive bosses), and hate the jobs they do (monotonous, tedious work and the like).
Even though I’m not quite earning as much as I would like, I do realise I’m blessed for what I must say is a very decent job I mostly enjoy with pretty decent pay. If I do decide to leave one day, it won’t be just for the money. Or at least I hope it won’t. I just hope I remember that when the time comes.